LPD tackles mental health related calls with new Crisis Interven - FOX34 Lubbock

LPD tackles mental health related calls with new Crisis Intervention Team

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

More than one million Texans live with a serious and persistent mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. These include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. 

The Lubbock Police Department announced the creation of the Crisis Intervention Team aimed at deescalating and addressing more effective mental health related dispatch calls.

LPD reports an uptick in mental health related calls and the Crisis Intervention Team works as a solution.

"You can respond to any where between 1 in 10 calls a night referencing someone with a mental health issue," Kimberly Crain, mental health peace officer, said. "It is not going to come out as somebody as call that is specific to mental health, it might be a domestic disturbance or a check service or a civil disturbance."

LPD has two officers assigned to work these specific cases, but there are about 30 to 40 additional officers certified to assist if needed. Officers who work these cases go through a lengthy training process. 

"It's a 40 hour course that we go through," said Crain. "It's a week long course and we go through extensive training on different types of mental illnesses that we will come in contact with as well as practical training with that and also we train with clinicians to better recognize it and also how to talk to people that have specific mental health illnesses."

Assistant Chief Jon Caspell credits the Homeless Outreach Team's work as inspiration for approving the program.

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